On our three-week tour of Bulgaria, we
travelled all around the country seeing
big cities such as Sofia...
...cultural sites such as Dyavolski most (Devil's Bridge)...
...and the Black Sea coast
It was a birding trip, and so we were looking for...
...every bird that we could find - such as European Goldfinch...
...Corn Bunting, and...
A tour of Sofia took us past Roman ruins and over to (in
the distance), a mosque dating back to the Ottoman period
Christianity was also well represented with medieval churches...
...through Russian Orthodox...
...to the city's main Bulgarian Orthodox church - the
Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Simeon, our expert birding guide, was also well equipped
for, and highly dedicated, to the task of taking pictures
of tiny wildflowers
We found other plants to be much easier - such as fields of poppies...
...Wild Geranium, and...
Tamarisk in flower
High on the cliff face at Ivanovo, the Church of
the Holy Virgin is hewn out of solid rock
The site is accessible by following a path winding up the face
of the cliff, and then squeezing through a narrow slit
Inside, the wall are decorated with with colourful frescos
Here is Simeon, loaded down with birding
technology - binoculars, a spotting scope,
a cellphone and an external speaker
The latter is probably the only way to actual see
Cetti's Warbler in amongst the dense reed beds
However, White Storks are another story - usually readily
visible - several stories up!
The port city of Sozopol on the Black Sea
Working boats at the seaside...
...and, nearby, birders also working hard
But, today the birds are easy to identify - Ruddy Turnstone
Local transportation can be quite colourful...
...but there can be unexpected hazards - our van was
broken into while we were out on a marsh. The local
police are dusting for the bad guys' fingerprints
(some of the ones on the door were Alan's!)
Still, usually, interactions with the locals were much less
traumatic. St. George's Day calls for dancing in the town square...
...and fireworks to light up the sky
Another fine birding trip!